Reporter’s were stunned when at Friday’s White House coronavirus Task Force briefing, where Trump usually rambles on for a couple of hours spewing lies and dangerous nonsense, he and Pence left after making a few comments without taking any questions. The briefing was over in less than 30 minutes. One report says Trump had been told by his advisors that his popularity is going down and that these briefings may be the cause.
I don’t believe it. Like pretty much most things put out by Trump and the White House, it is very likely a lie. While that is the only kind of advice he cares about and listens to, I suspect the polls story is being put out as a cover, to squash the idea that he was too cowardly to face the press after his previous day’s performance. I think his abrupt departure is very likely because he was smarting from all the criticisms he received for his insane suggestion that people inject themselves with bleach or other disinfectants or find a way to get UV light into their bodies. He likely knew that he would be questioned about where he got those crazy ideas and why he thought it was worth sharing them with the entire world.
There is a small possibility that this may be a tipping point, when the scales fall from the eyes of even some of his ardent supporters, at least among those who know that injecting bleach is a recipe for disaster, and they finally realize what the rest of us have long known, that the man is a dangerous idiot who should not be anywhere near the levers of power.
White House coronavirus taskforce briefings are often two-hour primetime marathons but on Friday Trump turned on his heel as reporters shouted questions in vain. Perhaps it was a fit of pique, or perhaps revenge on the reporters that he sees as persecutors. He may also have reached a tipping point with his own advisers warning that the televised briefings are hurting him far more than they help.
The abrupt end of Friday night’s daily press conference, which has become a ribald, unruly and often shocking ritual in America during the coronavirus pandemic, was probably the clearest sign yet of how badly Trump’s bizarre statements over disinfectant have shaken his administration.
Instead of going on the offensive after the world reacted with shock and horror to his Thursday night suggestion that the coronavirus might be treated by injecting disinfectant into a human body, Trump claimed he was being “sarcastic” and then retreated from public view.
The New York Times reported that some officials in the White House thought “it was one of the worst days in one of the worst weeks of his presidency.”
But it was Trump’s silence on Friday night that spoke volumes.
Trevor Noah says that Trump’s resemblance to authoritarian leaders in Africa is remarkable. Note that this is back from 2015 when he was running for office. It has the added benefit of Republicans who now grovelingly praise him then ridiculing Trump as utterly unfit to be president.